tv Washington Journal CSPAN January 31, 2012 7:00am-10:00am EST
sally bradshaw. after that, stuarewart ♪ ♪ host: good morning and welcome to "washington journal" for tuesday, january 31, 2012. it is primary day in florida and the polls are opening right now. the republican candidates for president are fighting for delegates in the sunshine state. c-span will air coverage of the results tonight on c-span2. you can find out more on c- span.org. the latest poll of likely florida voters shows mitt romney
leading newt gingrich, followed by rick santorum and ron paul. here are the numbers to call. if you are a florida voter, you can join the conversation. you can also e-mail us at email@example.com, or bonds witton twitter. we are on facebook. let's look at the "tampa bay times." it says, "today, florida decides."
host: looking at how newt gingrich is seeing his campaign, how his supporters are dealing with their concerns about his decline in the polls. it says -- "newt gingrich and his aides insist they see a path to the republican presidential nomination." what do you think? let's hear from jerry on the line for democrats. good morning. caller: i'm wondering why more
issue is not being made with romney and gingrich both. they keep saying obama is not doing anything. the republicans in the house -- since then, they have not let the president do anything. host: do you think the issue of congress is coming up on the campaign trail, that the criticisms americans have over congress? caller: i think the criticism should be on the congress. the stock markets are back up over 12,000. we were getting better. things were improving up until the 2010 elections. since the house has said no to everything, we are holding steady, kind of, which i think is pretty good. host: let's hear from coy on the
line for independents in fort worth, texas. good morning. caller: people say they are trying to get the minority votes. to me, we are the human race. actually, the minority are the american indians. we are the human race. why don't we talk about that? there should be no difference between one person and another person. thank you. you all have a good day. host: raleigh, n.c. jim on the line for republicans. caller: good morning to you. host: good morning. caller: thanks to all our military veterans out there for the service they provide to the united states. this is a battle over basically the future of our country. i see romney as somewhat of a elected official who is just trying to get elected, whereas newt gingrich, if you caught his
interview with gretta van sustren the other night, he's trying to restore american exceptional as solism. this is going to be a pivotal election in the united states. it is a moral election when it comes to whether we want to be a european socialist model, or if we want to continue with the free market capitalism. host: it sounds like you are a newt gingrich supporter. caller: yes, i am. i also agree with what sarah palin has said when it comes to newt gingrich. he has been bombarded by not only the democratic establishment, but also the republican establishment. he is intent on upsetting the status quo in washington and restoring it from somewhat of a corrupted system, whether it be democrats and republicans --
back to a people's house in the people's government. host: let's hear from john, who is a democrat, also calling us from north carolina -- this time, from wilson. good morning. caller: i'm calling about the republican convention and everything. we have elected officials. they are elected by the people. they are more interested in destroying the whole country. obama is doing all he can to move this country forward, to save social security, to make it affordable for all the old people. the republicans are worse than terrorists. karl rove, what he is doing. it does not make sense. what do you think about that? host: thank you for sharing your
opinion. we are talking about the florida gop primary today. we are interested on -- we are interested in your impression of the candidates. do you have expectations for what the contest will do from here? there are quite a few news stories today that newt gingrich does not plan to give up, if he loses the florida primary to mitt romney. let's hear from jim, an independent. are you voting today? caller: i cannot vote in florida of. i am a registered independent. romney is telling the truth. gingrich is not fit to serve. if gingrich is telling the truth, romney is not fit to serve. of course, romney is a leader in
host: michael, a democrat in massachusetts. good morning. caller: good morning. thank god for c-span. i want to comment on how much lying goes on back-and-forth. i just told the average person can see this. it is really pathetic when you think about the amount of money that is spent on these campaigns and you cannot even get the truth. it is ridiculous. it comes from both ends of it. gingrich, this guy is out of control. it is unbelievable. ever since the networks have gotten into campaigning with
the campaigns, because they are on tv all the time -- they are in constant campaign mode. it never ends. getting down to the business of the people never takes place. the election stars and then you hear the republican response. the first thing we have to do is get rid of this president. that's a good outlook for our future, is ann't it? something has got to be done about it. we are losing a lot of money and we are losing a lot of time in this country. the last thing i would like to say -- and thank you for having me talk. they have to end these offshore tax exemptions for these billionaires'. that's money that should be going in the coffers, like anything else. we are losing out. if they stop stealing money out of the social security system and put it back in, we would not even have this problem right now. thank you. host: let's take a listen to comments made on the campaign
trail. this is at a campaign rally in florida. mitt romney. [video clip] >> i listened to the president and recognize that it is clear that he would like to make us more like europe, more like a european social welfare state. europe is not working in europe. the last thing we need is america to become more like europe. i think he said he wants to fundamentally transform america. i do not want to transform america into something we do not recognize. i want to restore the principles that made as the nation we are. [applause] i see this election as a historic election. we are going to decide if we're going to go off in the direction of his choice, or, instead, if we are going to stay true to the constitution and the declaration of independence. he will be a candidate who will talk about trillion dollar deficit. those trillion dollar deficits have not ended up to $15 trillion in debt. he has put in place as much debt, or will by the end of his first term, and his only term by
the way -- [applause] he will have put in place almost as much debt as all the prior presidents combined. host: that is mitt romney in florida yesterday. our question for you is what you are making of the florida gop primary. what is your feedback? what do think, steve, a democrat in ohio. caller: good morning. good morning to america of. i just wanted to make a response to the call that i heard previously from another republican who believes obama is a socialist, a marxist, a communist. you know, these people have all this rhetoric in their minds from rush limbaugh and glenn b beck.
they never addressed the corporations selling our infrastructure out to the communists. which party votes completely in line with giving these companies tax breaks and write-offs and having no basic principle of maybe taxing these profits that are being brought over from these companies? it is the republican party, the party of communism -- sporting communism. host: let's take a look at the latest polling data. it says the tracking of the republican primary in florida wraps up with mitt romney at 39% and newt gingrich at 31%. rick santorum at 15% and ron
paul at 11%. liz smith writes in on twitter and says -- let's take a listen now to newt gingrich on the campaign trail in florida yesterday. [video clip] >> with your help, we are really going to change things. this is a major difference between me and romney. the fact is, a brand new article came as of europe last night where george soros, the left- wing billionaire, was talking to europeans. this is on tape. i am not making this up. george soros says to a group of europeans, "you know, there's
really no difference between romney and obama." he said he was equally confident with either one. "gingrich, now that would be real change." [applause] george soros is right. i am real change and that's why the establishment in both parties is really terrified. we will change things. host: that is newt gingrich yesterday on the campaign trail. let's go to maryland. justin on the line for independents, welcome. caller: hi. i used to be a democrat. what bothered me about it -- i thought it was putting party ahead of my country. why is it that we have ge appliances, kenmore appliances, but we only have two parties we can vote for. i am not a ron paul supporter.
i will probably vote democrat. i feel like we only have two choices. that just surprises me. americans love choices. when we come to politics, they think two parties is ok. i do not get it. host: what do you think can be done about that, justin? caller: if they change the internet privacy laws and that stuff -- if people just rise up and say, "we want a third or fourth choice," and we just ignore them and vote for an independent person. then maybe they will change. i do not know. host: let's listen to a comment at aitter -- let's look
comment on twitter. aller.republican co hi, phil. caller: good morning. host: good morning. caller: i do not know if i have a republican candidate to vote for this year. i am pretty disappointed. why does america forget everything that happened five years prior? they're talking about newt gingrich. he has a terrible record in congress. he was sanctioned by his own party for ethics violations. he accepted $1.5 million from fannie mae and he acts as if he is not part of the establishment, or as if this means nothing. people think he is real change. i cannot vote for this man. it would be immoral for me to do so did i cannot vote for mitt. i do not think he knows where we are going. i agree with the caller before. they want to do anything to thwart obama's efforts.
we do need more parties. this is why we are deadlocked. we need four, five, or six parties. that way we would not be faced with this complete deadlock in congress. host: have you seen anything of ron paul on the campaign trail? you have been in maine. have you checked out what he has to say? caller: i have listened to ron paul. i think he makes a lot of good points. he has that scary factor for me. you know, i think -- i just do not think he has an overall vision for us. he seems to want to rip down everything that we have been replaced it with i don't know what. host: here is a story recently from statecolumn.com talking about ron paul.
keenan asks on twitter -- cusack, talk with bob to za looking at the history of the house speaker newt gingrich. our last caller was just saying it does not seem like, in his opinion, americans do not have much of a long-term memory. why did you decide to look back to 1997? guest: it has been used on the campaign trail so much. newt gingrich has been mentioning his record as speaker, where he passed a balanced budget amendment, as well as welfare reform around 1996, but we focused on the
attempted coup of newt gingrich. it's been in the news that mitt romney and rick santorum have used that attempted coup against newt gingrich, basically saying he could not leave the house effectively, so he cannot be the nominee, and he cannot try to defeat president obama to lead the white house because of his management style. we talked to a lot of members that are still in congress and also former members. host: bob cusack of "the hill," take us back to 1997. guest: there was a lot of frustration building. it was after the government shutdown of 1995 and 1996, where newt gingrich went toe to toe with then president clinton and basically came out on the short end of the stick. a lot of the rank-and-file republicans at the time, including joe scarborough, they
were frustrated. they started to meet about their frustration. there was also some exasperation with newt gingrich about his record and how he was running the house. congressman peter king has been very critical of gingrich, saying that his leadership style is all about him and that he was self centered. this was kind of boiling over until basically some rank-and- file members started to meet and started to talk about toppling gingrich. initially, that made it up the chain. leadership members of the newt gingrich's team started to embrace the idea. the plot was hatched to topple newt gingrich. host: you report that leadership had split with gingrich in the month before the coup over how
to handle a disaster relief bill. you talked about the style of than speaker newt gingrich. were there also policy debates at play? guest: yes, there were. most of the problems were policy-oriented, in a similar way to republicans now in congress. they are frustrated they had to compromise with president obama also many things. back then, they were frustrated that the republican congress had to find common ground with bill clinton. there were these small bills that started to show that gingrich's hold on leadership has started to crack in the spring with the legislative branch bill that funded the government. that is when the rank-and-file members took that bill down. later, in emergency disaster relief bill -- that is where gingrich and his lieutenants split. that was really just the
precursor to the high-profile effort to get rid of him. gingrich eventually found out about this to attempt. it did not work. a lot of people said it was not well thought out. it was not really well planned. it made him weaker significantly. in the following year, he was gone from congress. he resigned as speaker. host: when you describe this coup attempt, we are talking about a specific moment in time. you take us through why it perhaps failed. as one person called it a keystone cop type of moment. guest: you have to have a well thought out plan. the major players involved in leadership at that time were tom delay, dick army, and bill paxon. they were all gingrich's
lieutenant. they were leading the charge of the leadership level. they did not put together a very effective plan. another reason why we looked at it was to take a look at the role of john boehner. john boehner was the number four republican at the time. we found out that -- going back to 1997 -- sandy hume broke the initial story. john boehner was aware of what was going on. he was not leading the charge. that's something that a lot of sources told us. host: you report that of the 81 republican lawmakers who served with gingrich and are still in congress, only two have endorsed him as president.
host: has bigger boehner stayed relatively removed from the debate and the campaign at large? guest: it is an awkward position for speaker boehner. potentially, gingrich could be the nominee and he would be the top republican in the house. that would be a bit awkward. he is trying to distance himself from that event, saying it was a rumor and just speculation that he was involved. he was well aware of it. he was in these leadership meetings plotting it. once again, he was not leading the charge. however, he was in the meetings discussing how to get rid of newt gingrich. host: bob cusack, managing editor of "the hill," thank you so much. you can find this story online or in the paper today. our question for you this morning is what you are making of the republican primary in
florida. news reports show that a lot of people in florida have voted absentee or early. let's hear from on the line for independents. -- from bill on the line for independents. bill, have you voted today? caller: i did absentee voting. host: did you vote as a republican? caller: yes, that is who you vote for now. host: you called in on our independent line. who did you end up supporting? caller: i support ron paul. the point i would like to make, though -- it seems to me that it is all over as far as who will be the final two. santorum and newt will not have
enough delegates. the ballot in a number of states. the way i have looked at it, we're just going to have paul and romney at the end. host: we will talk more later on about what happens after florida and who votes next. then, what is the delegate count and how that might work out. for now, let's go to leslie, a democratic caller in maryland. caller: hello. can you hear me? host: we can. caller: i kind of agree with the person who said a vote for newt is a vote for obama. i think newt is kind of a space cadet. he is well there and has a lot of baggage. i do not think he is really electable. i think mitt romney is a
chameleon. he is kind of scary. when ron paul was ahead, he was odying ron paul's speeches. i think he really has some other agenda. host: you called in as a democrat, leslie. are you a supporter of president obama? caller: because he is the democrat, yes. host: as you look at the field, is there a republican you will get through the process to make an easier candidate? caller: yes, that would be newt gingrich. i also liked huntsman's speeches. i have crossed party lines in my state. whatever is best for america. host: let's take a listen to a
romney campaign ad. this just came out yesterday. [video clip] ♪ >> i heard the president give a speech this week, his state of the union address. he told us things are going swimmingly. he is so detached from reality. he does not know what it's like in florida. i know a lot of people in this state are having a hard time. i know middle income families are finding it tough to make ends meet. that is why we are standing up and saying "gilmore." that's why we need a leader in washington who understands how to balance budgets. he has done it. who understands that in order to create jobs, we need to cut taxes. he did it. that's why i am honored to be here tonight. gov. mitt romney. >> i'm looking forward to
debating barack obama. i'm going to make sure we tell the truth to barack obama and get him out of the white house. my fellow americans, devoted to the principles of america, we are going to take back the white house. we're going to take back our country. host: that is a romney campaign ad that came out yesterday. joseph rights in -- joseph writes in on twitter. little rock, arkansas. dorothy on the line for independents. go ahead. caller: yes, i think the gop candidates have not shown a plan for the country. they have not been anything but attack each other. they have given the democrats a chance to defeat them because
they do not have a floor plan. they do not connect with the middle class. romney seems like he is totally out of touch. i feel like they do not have a good field of candidates. i think president obama will be reelected. host: let's hear from mary on the line for democrats. hi, mary. caller: thank you so much for taking my call. it's hard to get into the c-span anymore. i have been with you people since the founding of c-span. i could get in very easily than. my father told me when i was about seven years old that i was born a democrat and a better die one. i said, you know, i am a democrat. first of all, when people ask me if i'm a democrat or republican, my response is, "i am a christian."
that means a lot to me. i think the content -- the contest between these two hypocrite's -- the more men who outlawed polygamy -- well, they still practice polygamy out there. one of my daughters' lives out there. host: romney is certainly not a supporter of polygamy. caller: yeah, he is a mormon and he's very proud of his religion, donating millions of dollars to the cause of the mormon religion. i think this is a cult. we do not want somebody like that in the oval office. furthermore, as far as newt gingrich is concerned, i do not like him either. i think he is a hypocrite. he did everything he did to attack hillary clinton when he was competing against her for the senate.
hillary got the most votes in new hampshire, for example. a college professor in new hampshire, that asked him who he was going to support. he was a democrat. they asked if he was going to support hillary clinton or barack obama. he said he was going to vote for barack obama because hillary is "only a woman." i am a woman. i am a mother and a grandmother. when i married my catholic husband 60 years or so ago and i promised to love and cherish until death do us part, i met it. i stood by my husband because he wanted to marry me and still keep his faith in the catholic religion. i went along with it. i would not vote for either romney or the other person --
that more mman. i want the first lady not to be someone who has been living with the husband in an adultery way. michelle obama, i love that woman. she planted a vegetable garden in the back of the white house. i think that woman has brought her mother to live with them in the white house. host: you pointed out the fact that -- you're concerned about your own religion. mitt romney has said that he does not consider his religion a cult and he does not support polygamy. let's look at some comments on twitter.
tes in anden wright's says -- let's hear from a caller in tampa. gabe is a republican joining us now. good morning. caller: good morning, libbby. a big fan of c-span. i still like ron paul. i feel like he is the only honest guy in there. it is just a shame. an honest guy. you have to have buddies that you are going to do favor for when you get there. ron paul is just short on money. his is grass roots. that's where all his money comes from. no big bankers. no insurance companies. nobody throwing millions. it's all $20 at a time behind
him. the thing i have not heard anyone say this morning, at $15 trillion in debt. that's where the usa is today. $15 trillion in debt. he is the only one that really talks about downsizing government. and we do not need to be in 300 countries, 900 military bases. let's cut it in half. host: did you do early voting? caller: i will be out today. we are both with ron paul. host: we have not yet talked about rick santorum. he has been absent from the campaign trail for a few days. let's look at the story in "the new york times."
"doctor sent her home from the hospital on hospice care. her health issues present another type of challenge to mr santorum. as a presidential candidate, he is constantly traveling, yet he is still a father. voters may judge him on both of his roles as a candidate and as a parent." host: as the story reports, it looks like she is doing better right now. santorum is one of the candidates in competition in florida at the moment. the other is ron paul,then mitt romney and newt gingrich. let's look at the delegate
breakdown. newt gingrich has pledged that he will go the distance. you will see a breakdown here of how the delegates are measured out. you can see how many delegates are in iowa, new hampshire, south carolina, florida. also, nevada, maine, colorado, minnesota. then we see how many delegates will be dealt with on super tuesday. that's when a host of states in early march will go to the polls. the race continues on through april, may, june, and it takes a certain number of delegates to win even if the candidates won every delegate, the nomination could not officially be secured until mid march, reports "the new york times." pam on the line for independents. good morning, pam. caller: florida primaries have shown me how will the people are to vote against their own interests. romney and gingrich have both
profited from the foreclosure scandal. host: why is that a concern to you? caller: that's the whole point of the occupy movement. i just feel like we need to open up our eyes and see that. some let's take a look at of the coverage of the movement -- the occupy movement in washington, d.c.. theo emery for "the new york times" writes --
host: you can see an image here. "this by the deadline, there was no immediate efforts by the police. only a few patrol officers watched from the outskirts of still going on there.effort is let's go to our next caller. we will hear from virginia. oliver, a republican. caller: hi. thank you for having me. i am a republican. the republican candidates, romney and gingrich, they are criticizing obama's policies with regards to the economy. however, they do not have a plan. they do not say what they are going to do. we just heard recently that
china and india are buying the iranian oil, this time with a gold instead of the u.s. dollar. that means the u.s. dollar will be squeezed and affect our economy. i do not hear any republican candidates talking about a plan. they're just talking about socialism. the problem is so deep about the economy. the needs somebody to put a plan, step by step, what they're going to do, so people can realize the solution is coming. thank you very much. host: let's go to new hampshire. derry. caller: hi. top of the morning to you. it's about time america started speaking up with the same solidarity, boys. what i hear is pretty much what i dreamed about going to bed at
night. i have a beagle right now in a cage because it needs discipline. that is what i see. i see our country falling apart because we first and foremost need discipline, solidarity of purpose. secondarily, i would like to say that, you know, i watch these candidates, these republican candidates, and also the news media in general saying that based on iowa and new hampshire and florida, and that's going to determine who will be the republican candidate to fight obama. i just wonder -- what does that make the rest of our united states feel like when three or four states determine who will be the representative? it moots out everyone's faith in
the system. there's another 48, 49 states that do not have a voice? host: wade, you are from one of the early voting states in new hampshire. caller: i am still looking to get some closure -- i have judicial fraud committed through the department of labor for the sake of hartford insurance co.. host: let's stay focused on the florida gop primary. carl, democrat in chicago. good morning. caller: i am becoming very disappointed with the republican party. they appear to be a party that's turned into nothing but business. i've been watching "front line" and others.
he has described how are capitalism is not really capitalism of free markets -- cronyism. most of the republicans are supporting the same direction that got us back into this problem. i wish that he would have brought big stockton -- brought dick stockton on something like this show. even alan greenspan, after he left the fed, said he was wrong when he said businesses can regulate themselves. republicans are caught up on what they want to see. they cannot even hear when someone honestly tells them flaws. it's just too good.
host: we are focusing on the florida gop primary. let's look at "the new york times." "civilian deaths due to drones are not many, says president obama." a couple of other stories. the house gop will offer a transportation bill, a long- awaited plan. it is on the docket today. it would shift more decision making authority to big government -- to state governments. also on the hill today, general petraeus heads there. after months of keeping a low profile, cia director petraeus will have a second mission.
c-span will be there. we're broadcasting that this morning at 10:00 on c-span. you can find out more information on our website. james clapper, the director of national intelligence, will be testifying, and fbi director robert mueller. also today at 10:00 on c-span3 live, cftb director -- the cfpb director. also on c-span3, the federal budget and economic outlook by the cbo director doug elmendorf. c-span will be live at 8:00 eastern time. we will be taking comments by phone, facebook, and twitter. you can find out more about that at c-span.org/campaign2012.
next, we'll talk more about the road to the white house and the race for the gop presidential slot in florida. we will speak to sally bradshaw in just a moment. ♪ ♪ >> with talk of possible legislation to improve the nation's cyber defenses, former cia director discusses threats. >> and some ways, the discussion about cyber mirrors the discussion we used to have about terrorism in the 1980's and 1990's. there was a great deal of difficulty coming to a national consensus about what to do about it until we had 9/11, which then crystallized everything. we knew what we needed to do. we have not had that kind of
event in cyber yet. we imagine it and talk about it. the attack on zappos -- the only good thing that comes out of those, i think, a few more of those and there will be growing public awareness that this is a serious vulnerability that i think will overcome some of the private sector reservations about working with the government on it. >> watch the rest of the discussion and more about homeland security online at the c-span video library at c- span.org/videolibrary. >> it would be intolerable if a handful of violent people, and that is what it is, just a handful, could harm us against needed change. i see an uglier violence and it perverts the very spirit of america. i saw it at the republican convention in 1954. i saw it in minneapolis when and governor wallace was heckled into silence.
it happened to me in philadelphia. we must give notice to this violent few. there are millions of these americans willing to sacrifice for change, but they want to do it without being threatened, and they want to do it peacefully. they are the non-violent majority, black and white, who are for change without violence. these are the people whose voice i want to be. >> as candidates campaigned for president this year, we look back at 14 men who ran for the office and lost. go to our website, c- span.org/thecontenders to see video of the contenders who had a lasting impact. >> our ancestors came across the ocean in ships. when they arrived, there was nothing here. they build their tiny little cabins and they did it with neighbors helping one another, not federal grants. [applause] they came here because they wanted to be freed and they
wanted to practice the religion of their choice. after two hundred years, too many of us take those privileges for granted. >> c-span.org/thecontenders. >> "washington journal" continues. host: sally bradshaw is a florida gop political strategist joining us from tallahassee. good morning. guest: good morning. host: thank you for being with us. the latest polls are showing mitt romney with the lead. how important is it that he wins versus wins by a significant margin? guest: i think it's important that he wins. i think the polls will show he has a significant margin. in florida, it's always difficult to predict what will happen, as you know. there's a history here of strange things happening on election day. we will have to wait and see what happens. i think the significance of florida is so great in this primary contest. we are the largest of the early
primary states, the most diverse in terms of our electoral make up, and we are also the first closed primary, which means, of course, only republicans can vote in the florida primary. this will be a true test for these candidates of who the republicans want to send to face barack obama and who they want to see in the white house. host: we are hearing some talk about newt gingrich and how he is ranking among women, how they are perceiving him. "politico" has a list of five things to watch in florida. they're asking how gingrich will be perceived by florida women. guest: i think he has struggled with women. there's a concern. romney has focused on since the south carolina primary -- that he is simply not delectable and that he is erratic. that shows up in women voters. again, i think it's very difficult to know what the
margin will be and how large of a victory romney may have here. although, we do anticipate a romney victory, if the bulls stayed true. we will just have to see. women are a significant part of here. the. there certainly active in driving campaigns and turning out voters and volunteering for candidates. their vote matters. it will be interesting to see where this breaks down tonight. host: do you see this as essentially a two-man race at this point? guest: i think so. santorum had a very strong debate performance in jacksonville at the last debate. i think he may over perform his numbers. that will make it more difficult for gingrich to convince republicans that santorum should leave the race. if santorum performs ahead of where he is polling, there's more of an argument that can be made that he should stay in the race longer to see how he could do in some of the caucuses and primaries coming up in february.
we will see. host: let's take a listen to newt gingrich, one of his most recent campaign ads. [video clip] ♪ ♪ >> fraud, well, never mind. after a three and a half year investigation, the internal revenue service has issued an official finding. no violation of tax laws. critics say the course was too political, a scheme to use a tax-exempt -- to elect republican candidates. in a 74-page memorandum, the irs said otherwise. "the principals from americans ablation that could be used by each american and everyday life -- american civilization that could be used by each american in everyday life."
facts show the class was much more than a political platform. >> it turns out he was right and those who accused him of tax fraud were wrong. brooks jackson, cnn, washington. host: that was a campaign ad by newt gingrich. we are looking at a web site now call talesofmitt.com. it's basically takes apart mitt romney for the sake of boosting newt gingrich. tell us what you make of this and some of the negative theads, the tone that the debate has taken, sally bradshaw. guest: first, don't you love the music of that ad? i thought that was quite
entertaining. one of the challenges, frankly, that newt has had coming into florida is that this is such a large state. it's so expensive to campaign here. we have 10 media markets. we have a dedicated hispanic market. it is so significant, particularly in comparison to the other early contests. it is very expensive to play here. 1000 points of television cost about1. about5 million -- cost about $1.5 million. there's a real question about whether his momentum in south carolina has been able to carry him through the last few days of this primary contest. we certainly saw it have an impact in the early days when the shift from south carolina to florida occurred very quickly, because the romney campaign had greater resources. they were able to stabilize the race and begin to turn it around. you are now seeing gingrich use
some of the resources that came in as a result of his victory in south carolina. the question today is, is it too little too late? those are effective ads. negative advertising works. reacting in responding to ads quickly works in an advertising capacity. is it too little too late? gingrich really did not purchase television advertising here until -- i want to say thursday or friday of last week. that may be too late to get messaging to voters. while i think his ads are effective and humor is used, it's hard to say what impact it will have. host: sally bradshaw is a florida gop political strategist. she has lived in the state for over 20 years. she served as an adviser to mrs. of the governor barbara -- to
mississippi gov. barber. she served as a senior adviser to gov. mitt romney's 2008 campaign. she also worked for gov. jeb bush and has had a variety of the roles in florida and national politics. the numbers to call, if you want to join in on the conversation -- host: before we get to the sally bradshaw phones sally, -- before we get to the phones, sally bradshaw, tell us about your involvement with mitt romney's campaign four years ago. you are not voting for him? guest: i'm not working for any candidate and not willing to share who i am voting for. i voted absentee. i will tell you that.
a lot of florida voters voted for the or absentiee. a significant number of people have voted early or voted absentee. a pretty significant return on the request. 61% of those who requested it have returned absentee ballots. it will be interesting to see how that impacts the turnout numbers tonight. i did work for governor romney in 2008 in florida. it was a very different campaign then. governor romney was not as well- known as he is now. the task in florida was very different four years ago. we needed to create an environment where people were willing to listen and learn more about governor romney. we were very effective in getting some early endorsements here. this time, they signed up people like the speaker from panama city and the former house speaker.
john thrasher, the former state party chairman and the state senator from the jacksonville area -- very involved on behalf of governor romney. the former party chairman here, now president of the american conservative union, was very involved with the romney campaign, for severelyparticulac leadership. our path was to get the governor known here. one of the challenges of 2008 is that the resources were not there and it made it much more difficult to campaign in a state the size and extent of florida. this time the romney campaign has wisely planned to invest resources in florida and they did so early. three to four weeks prior to the florida primary and before the south carolina contest they were on the ground, running
advertising, and a top-notch team. they had all the pieces in place to run a successful effort. >> we have a comment on twitter -- host: let's hear from port richey, florida. caller: how are you? host: good, thanks. caller: gramm -- my grandfather cook for 12 presidents of the united states. he was a chef at the white house. he took my sister there one time. she was like six years old. jacqueline kennedy came down in a bathrobe. she said she wanted to do the cooking. these are lovely people. " we're dealing with, now, in florida, are people that are very dedicated.
firemen, policeman, cutting their salaries. i walked into a 7-eleven and i saw a fireman working because he could not work to feed his family. and i am supposed to vote for you? you have got to be crazy. guest: i assume that you are talking about republicans. i think that what you are seeing everywhere, not only florida, are tremendous challenges financially. we have not seen responsible fiscal budgeting as the president has promised. in the state of florida, we are required constitutionally to do that. at the federal level, we are not. there are cuts that are difficult to make, and we have no choice.
our republican-led legislature and governor has been very responsible in trying to prioritize funding to public service providers, firemen, policeman, critical needs industries. governor scott has actually come out and ask for $1 billion in new money for education. what we have to do as we prioritize resources, republicans have done a much better job at that than the president. there are a lot of reasons to look at new fiscal management in washington. host: our guest, sally bradshaw , overseas education, and is a former adviser to the florida republican party and gop street -- and a gop political
strategist. philip is on our republican line. host: one comment, one quick question. i do not think that ron paul has gotten any type of positive news media on a national level whatsoever. i mean, he is running. i voted early, absentee ballot, for ron paul. i thought that florida moved up their primary last election and be lost half of our delegates. how long will they continue to take half of the delegates for moving the primary. guest: a good question. i hope you're having good whether there today. we were penalized in the last cycle. half of our delegates were taken. when senator mccain became the nominee, he encouraged the
nominee -- he encouraged a restoration of the delegates. my hope would be that our nominee would be the same. the fact is that florida is a very diverse state. we are much more representative of the general electorate as a whole than any of the other early primary nominating contests. as i respect the role that iowa, new hampshire, play in this process, this has been a much more definitive signal in the interest of republicans taking the race to president obama. it would be nice for the republican national committee to recognize that we are significant and we have a role to play. we will host the national convention this summer. there is a lot that florida brings to the table. i'm with you. it is time to recognize that and for us to recognize the
pettiness that goes on at that level, punishing us by sending us to bad hotels or taking away delegates. host: we have a couple of other folks waiting in. donna, on twitter -- you mentioned santorum playing a factor in the race. she says -- host: susan writes i and my e- mail and says -- -- rights in by e-mail and says -- guest: is interesting, ron paul himself has sort of taken himself out of the race in florida. he has not actually campaigned here in the last 10 days, which is surprising. there are certainly ron paul supporters in florida and we do have an independently minded electorates, although it tends
to be conservative on the republican side. i am a little surprised by his decision not to campaign as actively here. your callers and those who are riding in our right. this is usually an expensive state to play in and ron paul may not have the resources, having made a calculated decision because of the costs, but he is the one who chose not to campaign here lately. host: danny, turn down your television and go ahead. caller: my name is dan. i appreciate your taking my call. mitt romney, when he turns around with bain capital and makes all of this money, then he puts it overseas -- those are politician is not working for the middle-class and the poor.
both parties need to get together and work together for the good of the country. when it comes to social security, no one mentions that the government has taken $1 trillion from social security and never paid it back. it started with kennedy. it is time for politicians to start working for the good of the country. guest: earlier in the race when rick perry called social security a ponzi scheme, there was a huge outcry. in florida, where the republican electorate, over half of our voters are 55 or older and are retired, or moving towards retirement. it is a significant issue. not many have come out with
solutions that will work in that area, or have been willing to confront it. with respect to bain capital, it has certainly been an angle of attack against governor romney. but in the republican party, voters tend to err on the side of wanting americans to be successful. to go out, work hard, and reap the benefits. governor romney has tried to make that case that he has been successful. paying 40% of his income to taxes and charity. i have a real feel for how voters have responded to those issues. host: joanne, a san diego, california, republican line. caller: since you are talking about the mitt romney campaign
strategy, my main concern as a conservative is to defeat president obama. does anyone in the romney campaign have the ability to reach out to the tea party voters, to reach out to these vibrant, young ron paul supporters, because we know obama will spend $800 million or so on negative campaign, which will drive down turnout. we cannot take this for granted. guest: absolutely. i certainly hope so, is your answer. there are a lot of bright people who are a part of the mitt romney effort. i know that they understand the need to pull the party together if and begin to recruit independents and democrats, and some of the people in our party who have been disgruntled.
the way that the tea party have been labeled in the media, representatives like you and i, who believe the federal government has spent much of our money, they need to be more responsible. these conditions have been created by the mainstream media. certainly governor romney understands the need to bring the party together and bring in tea party activists. this is, by no means, going to be easy. there are fewer republicans then there are democrats. certainly in a state like florida, although the margin has gotten closer, they are still outnumbered by about 500,000 registered democrats.
the mitt romney campaign argument, if they win in florida, will be that it is time to pull the party together. host: ralph, chicago, and abandoned call. caller: does ron paul not preserve more votes in florida? as he is protecting the elderly from inflation and the disaster a public-private inflation, exploding health-care costs by endorsing cheaper therapies, from a massage to marijuana, and protecting israel from its oil- rich rivals? marijuana oil could use the biofuel, read the a further imbalance in trade valuations. guest: that was certainly a long one. perhaps future work for his campaign.
again, i have been surprised that ron paul opted not to campaign here over the last 10 days. there are certainly republicans here who are advocates of his, or at least components of his message. with respect to the economy, but there are a lot of republicans to agree with his message. it may impact this turnout. it may impact how many republicans get to go to the polls today to support him. i think you will see support for him, just not in the numbers necessary to support him. host: this e-mail came in -- host: do you feel that the primary is damaging the candidates? not just among us republicans,
but potential independent voters? a little while ago you mentioned our guest from yesterday, the head of the american conservative union, down there in florida. he has been reported to say that the fighting between the main rivals has to stop, it could be damaging. guest: it is interesting that you bring that up. governor bush last week was quoted in an interview, describing what is going on as a circular firing squad. certainly, it cannot be helpful to our eventual nominee or our chances for taking back the white house. i think the republican primaries have a purpose and place, and it is to weed out issues of importance. the issues that the nominees focus on in a general election. we will see that start to taper off after florida.
one of the bandages of having florida so early is to have a fifth day that is representative of the electorate and sending a signal. that this is the nominee and the person we want to take on president obama. certainly, it is something that we need to be concerned about. we need a united party, a party that comes together and get behind one message. certainly, representative of a party that is diverse. about 10%, 11% of the voters on the republican side of the aisle are hispanic voters. we have a lot of retired military in the state. you have jewish republicans in southeast florida who are very active. there is a very diverse electorate. you will start to see a town
change. host: you were just talking about the geography of florida. "the washington post," breaks it down by region. looking at which ones have been barnstorming, where, and why it matters. mitt romney is looking at the john mccain terrain. he is ahead in almost every region, except for the conservative north. it shows newt gingrich going after the conservative north and central in the state. and rick santorum, in this large state with expensive media markets, it has been an uphill battle for him. but on monday the former senator decided to refocus his energy and upcoming states. looking at ron paul, skipping florida to go to maine.
tell us more about where they are putting their efforts and why it matters. guest: we have a very conservative electorate amongst republicans. you see a significant number of republicans considering themselves social conservatives, a strong fiscal conservatives. this will be a true republican primary in that sense. there are four critical regions in the state. the first one the you hear about the most in the national press is the famous interstate four corridor. the area around campus county in the west to orange county on the east coast, the orlando area. 50% of the vote in the primary
comes from that quarter. including surrounding counties are impacted and feed into the interstate. we will see a significant concentration of the bow, coming from that area of the state. both contenders have spent a tremendous amount of time in the corridor. another area that is important is the southwest and southeast area of the state. st. martin, st. lucie county, which is congressman territory, like naples. 17% of the vote comes from that area of the state. it is an area where mitt romney did very well.
that area of the southwest coast, typically thought of as a component of the corridor, making up 57% of the vote. the panhandle, pensacola, not quite as far east as i am located in now, with very few republican votes, it comes in to have very few military retirees. john mccain did very well, having trained there. there was a significant turnout among its military retirees in 2008. this is about 8% to 9% of the expected republican vote. then you have brouwer county with a tremendous number of voters. that is where the bulk of the hispanic votes are in a republican primary. that area was carried three-one
by john mccain over mitt romney in 2008. investing the resources in going after the vote in briar count -- robert county. -- brown word county -- broward county. you see resources targeted to those areas. host: we have been looking at a graphic laying out geographic -- political and geographical florida. democratic line -- political geography of florida. democratic line, go ahead. caller: social security is not a ponzi scheme. i am so sick of republicans saying that. i was a lifelong republican until bush's second term.
my question is -- does she think that the republican field will be alienating the hispanic vote in the general election with the nine -- non-support of the dream act? guest: a good question. to your comments on a ponzi scheme, that is an issue that rick perry raised -- that was my point. to the previous caller about the money taken out of social security for priorities in the budget, that is the point about -- the ponzi scheme. that social security money should be used for social security. to the point about hispanic voters, it is certainly an issue of concern. the governor gave an interview recently where this issue was raised. hispanics are the swing vote in a general law election. they have concerns about the
rhetoric used by republicans on the issue of immigration. hispanic republicans are not mono-issue voters. they are very concerned about jobs and economic for to -- up -- economic opportunity. that is what we have seen them talking about here. there is no question that as republicans, we have to do better, do a better job in taking our message out. immigration is an issue. border security is an issue. we have to do a better job and deal with this larger immigration problem in a way that does not alienate hispanic voters. that will be a top -- challenge for anyone who is nominee. host: this twitter message sent
by the money handler for newt gingrich. the guest: that is interesting. i was just going to say, certainly the gingrich campaign has been able to raise more money. between their campaign and the superpac that is supporting him, they have been able to use those resources in florida. but is it too late for the florida primary? when you have a state that is paid media driven, you have to be able to have resources in all of those markets with voters. in iowa, new hampshire, and even south carolina, where candidates show up at the events based on the speeches given, reporting on television stations and local papers, those are very important in the early iowa caucus states. in florida, newt gingrich had
10,000 people at a rally. i can tell you that outside of the southwest florida area, no one in jacksonville knew that. the media is not as effective as a tool in the state of florida, because we are so big in the media market. resources matter. the question is -- has been rich been able to devote enough resources to have an impact on his numbers? >> paul joins us from green bay, wisconsin. caller: the first thing that i want to say is that i have been watching all of the debates for a closely. mitt romney and newt gingrich have not spelled out the details of their economic plans, which really concerns me. rick santorum has a very good plan and is the only one that i would back.
how can you vote for florida without knowing their plans? guest: actually i -- go ahead? caller: go ahead. guest: rick santorum has been very vocal about his plan. what happened in florida, though, is we had two candidates where their roles were reversed. mitt romney one in new hampshire decisively. then we had a real contest. rick santorum won in iowa. we always thought that it would be and should be at a tiebreaker in this contest. when that happens, candidates can stray from their positive talking points and start talking more about what is wrong with their opponents. a lot of time was spent by the front runners attacking each
other. i thought that rick santorum had his best debate at the last debate in jacksonville and was most articulate about what he believed and the difference in his platform. he has just not had the resources to play at the level that would put him into the top two candidates. host: indianapolis, independent caller. welcome. caller: thank you to c-span. you guys to a great service. i was a third generation republican. looking at the plans of the people that you have running for the highest office in the country, there is no way to vote for any of them. you have two people with no ethics. mitt romney had an account in
switzerland. there is only one reason to do that. you want to hide something. newt gingrich was booed within the year by his own colleagues. and then you have the religious crazies. i am sorry, unless you're someone who believes in science, i can not vote for any of them. guest: is clear that you will not be voting republican this year. [laughter] host: the major republican players in florida, such as the former governor, has not -- have not weighed in. how significant are the endorsements, or lack of endorsements?
guest: an interesting question. my sense is that they feel that floridians should be able to make their own decisions without endorsements on that level. in 2008 our than current governor chose to indorse senator mccain at the last minute and it certainly helped senator mccain. a very popular governor at the time. it did engler and alienate quite a lot of republicans. they need to respect the process and the voters here. they also need to feel like the candidates have earned this. endorsements at that level perhaps send the wrong signal. candidates need to work hard for floridians. with respect to the florida primary, that is how it plays out.
host: this message from daniel -- host: you have mentioned that there has been a lot of those folks coming out in advance. guest: that is right. we have a very aggressive absentee and early voting program. we are actually quite proud of what they have done in that regard. this time, for the first time, you have to request one. there have been ones where you automatically receive them and this time you had to call and request them again. wereber of the absentee's significant. early voting is an expensive process. people have to be there to staff those locations. it would be difficult to always
have the early voting available. it has provided a lot of access for voters in that state. i am very proud of the opportunity that people have to vote here. host: janet, good morning. caller: do you not think that some of the horrible -- horrible things that rick scott and other republicans have done in florida will damage the reputation of other republicans? host: what has been done that you take issue with? caller: republican legislators turned away federal money that was meant to provide care for disabled and hospice care for dying children because they did not like obama care. down here in florida, they are redistricting. even though there are more democrats than republicans in
this state, they are still gerrymandering districts so that more republicans will win. they kept -- they kept their luxury health care package and it is one of the most generous taxpayer subsidized programs for politicians in the nation. host: let's get a response from sally bradshaw. caller: i am not sure that -- guest: i am not sure that i can speak to that, but i will talk about redistricting. there were two initiatives on the ballot during the last election that specifically addressed the issue of gerrymandering districts. on behalf of the speaker designate, not get the speaker of the house, but he will be next year, he has very closely
follow the law, frankly, to the detriment of republicans. i have heard a lot of complaints about just how fairly they have drawn the district for minority participation and access. republicans are going to lose quite a few seats as a result of the plans on the table now. i do not think that it is accurate to say that we have gerrymandered those districts. the rep has gone out of his way to make sure that we have a fair and open process. many of our incoming republicans will have to face each other. i am not sure that that is accurate. with respect to governor scott, i think he's doing exactly what the people elected him to do.
people were very upset about how tax dollars were spent. he has helped to create jobs and we have seen some turnaround in florida. jobs have been created. businesses have been recruited. he does have a very single focus on growing the economy here in florida. i think that the verdict is still out. he is coming in at a very difficult time, with a very difficult set of responsibilities where things are improving here. host: sally bradshaw, before we let you go, tell us about your past history with c-span. guest: [laughter] when i was 16 years old, i was involved in the close-up project, where high schoolers
came to washington, d.c., to learn about the government and the process. i was invited to participate in a call in program with c-span many years ago -- i will not say exactly how many. president reagan called in, and i was able to ask my question. subsequently, i think that c- span wrote a book about people that watch c-span and have participated in c-span, and have really brought us information about our government and political process. there was a serious cross section about asking the president a question. a great trip to washington, d.c., for a 16-year-old. i really appreciated that. i am grateful to the services that c-span provides. host: welcome back to this morning. coming up, we will look at the gop primary after florida and what is ahead for congress in
the weeks and months to come. first, a news update from c-span radio. >> u.s. drones have targeted taliban and al qaeda militants on taliban the soil -- talibani soil. the president said -- "many of these strengths have been in the tribal area of the border. he went on to say that for the most part, they have been very precise strikes against al qaeda and their affiliates. that they were very careful in terms of how it was applied. one spokesman told a french news agency that the attacks were not lawful, counterproductive, and unacceptable. as the president continues dealing with foreign issues and re-election issues, his presidential campaign is gearing up. the campaign is rolling out the
square mobile fund-raising platform, where workers have been issued fundraising platforms. the technology has been used by a handful of local and political campaigns. the president's use of it is the first national political adoption. fresh from the campaign trail, a former republican presidential candidate, herman cain, in his remarks earlier said that he would also be comfortable supporting mitt romney, if he was the one who won the nomination. our coverage of the primary in florida begins tonight on c-span radio and the c-span television network. those are the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> with talk of legislation to improve cyber-defenses, the former cia director talks about dealing with foreign threats.
>> in some ways, the discussion about cyber warfare -- there was a bit about terrorism in the a.d.'s and 90's, there was a great bit of difficulty -- 80's and 90's, there was a great bit of difficulty until 9/11, which crystallized everything. we have not had the kind of attack that we have talked about. the only good thing that comes out of those incidents is that there will be growing awareness that this is a serious vulnerability that will overcome some of the private sector reservations about working with the government on this. >> watch the rest of the discussion online, at the c-span video library, archives and searchable, c-span.org
/videolibrary. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we are now joined by reid wilson, talking to us about all things election 2012. we want to get your take on what you think will happen when the numbers come in tonight in florida. what does that mean moving forward, in florida and beyond? guest: tonight we will see a pretty big win for mitt romney. the most reliable polls that we have seen coming out of the field have him leading by 12 to 20 points. it feels like the race is breaking a little late. newt gingrich has tried hard to compete, by coming off of a south carolina wave.
florida is important, of course. this is the first real contest where a big chunk of delegates will go to the convention and vote for the actual nominee. the winner of the state will get all of those that look -- delegates. the person tonight will wind up as the leader in the delegate count, if you will. mitt romney is looking likely to come out today ahead in the delegate count. host: with that 20. win, take us to one week from today, in nevada? guest: they will happen in nevada and it will be one of the few contests happening in february. it will be one of the contests in minnesota, maine, who hold
their caucuses around then as well, then the long dry spell until arizona and michigan. the interesting thing about all of those races is that they are all states where mitt romney should do pretty well. arizona, colorado, nevada, that have large low-income populations where it helps to build a base, a foundation and organization. something that mitt romney is very good at. it is hard to see where someone like rick santorum or mitt romney -- newt gingrich wins next. ron paul has been better at turning people out over the course of his presidential bids. this is his chance to gain those delegates. hard to see where gingrich and santorum find a big pocket of
support. right now he is campaigning in missouri and it is only a beauty contest. mitt romney is prepared to leave florida in a way that will not be as dramatic as president obama in 2008, when he established his firm lead over hillary clinton. it could be as the finding of a race as the obama lead over clinton back then. guest: there are two stories coming out -- host: there are two stories coming out today. the first is that the gop race could go on and on. newt gingrich saying that he intends to stay in through late august. the ron paul campaign says that they intend to stay in long enough to gain delegates during
the convention. both to prevent romney from winning a majority, forcing the convention to pick the nominee. talk to us about the idea of a brokered convention. how likely is that, at this point? guest: not terribly likely. the eventual nominee has to get a 1154 delegates. mitt romney, or whoever it is going to be -- likely mitt romney, has to roll through super tuesday and the state's that hold a contest in april and june. we always make fun of it here at the hot line, when we see a newspaper clipping with a local state saying that their state's convention for local caucus might matter. there was a great clip from california the other day saying that their primary as late as june might matter. the bottom line is that one of these candidates is likely to
get a majority and it is probably mitt romney. the majority of the delegates, by the time they get to the convention -- ron paul does not have to get a majority, or even prevent romney from getting a majority to impact the convention. what will happen is he will get members of the delegates on a bunch of committees. he can do things like offer minority reports to the platform and say -- we really wanted to put this on the platform, it can get embarrassing for the eventual nominee. ron paul gets to negotiate and put some of his platform and the republican party platform at large on various influential committees. that is what we will see from the from paul campaign. he is not campaigning to win the delegates required to become the republican nominee.
but he will have an influence and it should not be understated. host: we want to open up the phones to questions on campaign 2012. we want to do the standard campaign lines, for democrats, 202-737-0001. for republicans, 202-737-0002. for independents, 202-628-0205. if you are outside the u.s., 202-628-0184. the c-span campaign 2012 bus is visiting the university of tampa, florida. we have a few students helping us to rest questions today and we want to give a special thanks to those who prepare the students for the program and the bright house networks for sponsoring. let's start with a student down there.
hamilton ryan? >> hello, reid. i recently read your article about mitt romney and his trouble getting the hispanic vote. more importantly, how do you see him doing in florida? i know that he showed with a lead over newt gingrich in the last poll. it is looking like a big win for him tonight. i know that in 2008 john mccain overwhelmingly took the hispanic vote. how you see hispanic " getting behind mitt romney in future? guest: thank you for the question.
-- hispanic vote getting behind mitt romney in future? guest: thank you for the question. the hispanic populations are rising so fast, and you are right, mitt romney did very well in 2008. amongst hispanics, he did very poorly. rudy giuliani took 24%. mitt romney has to turn that around, if he is going to win tonight. we cited a number of surveys from yesterday that had mitt romney up by 20. all of the reliable polls have mitt romney leading by double digits. he is likely going to do well amongst hispanics, as he is made such an effort to reach out to hispanic voters.
he has had hispanic language television ads running for weeks now. he has had spanish english bilingual pieces running to the dominant houses in florida. he has the support of the spanish establishment. folks like his brother, and even david rivera -- the establishment republicans in the hispanic community, their support goes a long way. four years ago, they were with mitt romney, playing a big role. how do they relate on the national level? it will be a big problem. hispanic voters have consistently voted more for democrats by increasingly larger margins. in 2004, george w. bush took 44%
of the hispanic vote. 2008, john mccain only manage 21%. the growing electorate is only helping democrats by wider and more -- wider and wider margins. republicans have to find a way to talk to hispanics in ways that help them get out the republican message. unless they find a way to change that, they will have real problems in the future. host: this is from james, talking about a conversation between newt and romney -- newt gingrich and ron paul. host: we also have this chart from "the new york times," today, talking about the conventions coming up.
the 10th of march, super tuesday -- how many delegates are up? esther you have caught me. it is somewhere around 500 delegates. in the fourth quarter -- i cannot remember the exact number. the funny thing is, the number keeps changing. texas was originally supposed to go on march 6, but because the redistricting process has been so chaotic, the district lines will not be drawn by that time. voting in the congressional and presidential primary, at the moment the day is june, depending on how they are able to do that. meanwhile, ohio has moved up to super tuesday. some states are still shuffling around. we have a concrete calendar now. just a few weeks ago, they were
still moving around. host: let's go to todd in florida. good morning. >> -- caller: good morning. i am calling because i have a problem with the media kind of ignoring my guy. i know that it is quite a problem for the media, because they really do not like him. i do not understand how it is that we can have a media that is supposed to be for people and able to do this to us. host: your guy is? caller: ron paul. but i feel like it is people like c-span -- i have been a lifelong republican supporter, and i have never seen by some c- span, but suddenly you cannot see ron paul everywhere.
i have been watching you to to try to get my news, because i cannot get it on the television anymore. i found out that florida has voter fraud problems. a man named pension had created a program to make voter fraud from the computers. the former speaker of the house in florida hired him to make this program. what it does, this program, it makes the boat come out 51-49 and they can pick the winner. through the years, i have always noticed that it was 51-49. seems like the strangest thing. host: let's give reid wilson a chance. guest: i actually do want to talk about ron paul. his strategy is interesting. the reason he is not been seen anywhere in florida, ron paul
has essentially skip florida. it is a winner-take-all state. he has moved on to other places. he has gone on to maine last week. some of the caucuses are already happening in maine. later this month, today, he is in colorado. ron paul is pursuing this very strategic path to establishing a real contingent of delegates for the convention. i think that he is pursuing the smarter strategy for his own political say. this is the same way that president obama established a big lead over hillary clinton. understanding the rules of the game better than the other guys. if anyone understands the game better, it is mitt romney and
ron paul. they know where the delegates come from, where to submit their signatures in every state. ron paul and mitt romney are the only two who have fielded a complete state of delegates in the state. ron paul is pretty smart here, in picking and choosing. you are seeing him at three different stops in colorado. the other thing about ron paul is that it is hard to overstate the impact he had on the language of the republican party. one thing the you hear a lot, when you go to various events, the only person that they do not want to vote for is ron paul. one of the first things that they will say is that the only person that they will not support as ron paul, because they disagree with him on this, that or the other. take a listen to how some of these people sound. newt gingrich took a poll on going back to the gold standard.
that is the ron paul message. that is the fundamental talking point. the republican candidates are talking about auditing the fed. talking about all of these things that, just four years ago, were crazy ideas that only ron paul had. he has had as big of an impact on the way that his party speaks as someone like ronald reagan or barry goldwater. host: again, we are being joined by reid wilson, editor in chief at "a hot line." in 2008, he covered the cycle for the real clear politics blog. reid wilson, we want to go back down to the campaign bus in tampa, florida, this morning, at the university of tampa. one of those students has a
question for us this morning. >> good morning. it is a pleasure to be talking with you this morning. a figure was put out by the new york fed that listed upwards of $550 billion in the united states. ae president's group lists bailout recipient, along with current instability for the national economy. is this a feasible challenge for the president to undertake? what about an election year, where 72% of voters are in the primary? guest: it is absolutely smart for the president to do. he is talking about helping people with their debt. that is what americans want to hear right now. solutions from washington, d.c.. the problem is that it is not feasible from a legislative
perspective. i saw a clip this morning that there were 984 roll call votes in congress, in the house last year. only 12 members voted on all of those. this year it is likely to be lower. there are not likely to be a lot of legislative package is moving through congress, because it is election year. tensions are running high and that is how it works in washington, d.c.. the president can go out there and say -- look, this is what i want to do with student loans. host: are their estimates as to how big of a rule -- of a role the young vote is going to play in the upcoming election? guest: it is of course key to the president's campaign strategy. one of the things that he did best was change the face of the electorate. it was dramatically younger and more diverse than any electorate
that has -- that has ever turned out. thanks to his operation, he was able to get the voters out to the polls in levels that had not been done before. this is a key constituency for him and one that he has to make happy. host: back to the phones. john, vancouver, washington. good morning. caller: back stepping a little bit, talking about the states that are more populated -- i am a member of the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints. being a member does not necessarily mean i will vote for mitt romney. the official stance of the church is that we get involved as far as voting and running and that sort of thing, but the official stance of the church is that they do not have a particular person that we are supposed to vote for.
i want to bring that up. he does not necessarily capture all of the mormon voters out there. i have friends who are voting for different candidates because they like what they hear. i wanted to bring that up. guest: a fair point. by the way, you are in my home state and thank you for watching so early in the morning. it is a good and fair point, the church has been put in an awkward position by the mitt romney candidacy. they are not used to taking big political stands and they are doing their best to keep their distance. they do not want to be seen as overly influencing one side or the other. primarily because they do not want the church dragged into politics. the concern that many organized religions have. host: we have zachary peterson
on the campaign 2012 bus this morning. good morning. caller: good -- >> good morning. in the past, unemployment has placed eight -- played a huge role in the election. and do you think it is slowly decreasing? guest: the key challenge for president obama, as he seeks reelection, is to convince americans that the economy is going in the right direction. indicators may show it, but people do not necessarily believe it. people still feel the pain of the economic recession. what are we at now, 8.4%? i am sure that that is better, but it is not as good as the 4% or 5% that most americans are used to. what the president has to do now, he has to feel the pain of
the americans while still convincing them that he has done something about it and that things get better. that there is a silver lining to the dark cloud. we are seeing some indication in national surveys he needs those trends to really continue, especially among independent voters, where his numbers are terrible right now. host: reid wilson, let's go to a clip we have of vice-president by dint last friday talking about the state's he and the president will be focused on. [video clip] >> i have been given five states as a focus. i will be in a lot of states. pennsylvania, ohio, michigan, iowa, new hampshire, and florida is where i will be spending most of my time. coincidentally, that's where a lot of your targeted seats are. host: reid wilson, your thoughts
on the president's campaign schedule in the coming weeks and months. guest: joe biden has told a lot of people that those are his five states, that he will be there 25 or 30 times in the next year. we are seeing that. he's headed to michigan later this week. he will spend some time in all those states. he will be a ubiquitous presence. one of the things that's interesting, democrats and republicans are having to face the down-ballot prospects. one of the things biden was talking about how house democrats will fare and how the president fares. there are not a lot of split- ticket voters these days. a lot of senate democrats really need those votes to keep their jobs. they're running in states that the president's probably is not going to win. the percentage of the population
is getting smaller and smaller as we move toward this national political atmosphere where even a special election in oregon, like one that's going on today, becomes a focal point of national democrats or republicans. host: about 50 minutes left with -- about 15 minutes left with reid wilson. let's go to jennifer on the line for democrats in kentucky. caller: please bear with me and give me a couple seconds to say what i have to say. host: go ahead, jennifer. caller: i think our president could have done so much more if it had not been for the republican party. everything that he was for, they disagreed. the answer was always "no." they did not want him to come in for a second term. host: jennifer, how big of an impact do you think will have?
caller: i think it will have a lot to do with it. people have said it. so many people have repeated the same thing and they do not like it. then, of course, we know what the congress democrats and republicans, whatever you want to put it -- what is running at. i think a lot of them want to come back in. host: that was jennifer from louisville, ky. let's go back to the c-span 2012 bus at the university of tampa in tampa, florida. a question for you, reid wilson. caller: good morning. guest: good morning. caller: with the recent information that came out about the insider-trading legislation, how do you think that will affect the stances of either party going into their primaries and/or their conventions? guest: well, you are talking
about the recent cbs piece on "60 minutes" the discussed insider trading among members of congress, or at least members of congress acting on information that they hear during the course of their daily lives. i'm not sure that will have a big impact on the primary elections. what it will have a big impact on is the general election. we've already seen some candidates from around the country trying to claim credit for this idea, the stock act, as it is called. scott brown in massachusetts, the republican incumbent there, has been trying to take credit for changing the way washington works. we are starting to see some clips in massachusetts newspapers giving him that credit. that is great for him, as he fights what could be an uphill battle for reelection. some other candidates around the country are using it as further proof that congress is broken and all the bonus -- the bums
deserve to be kicked out. when congress has an approval rating between 8% and 15%, a lot of people agree that all the boums need to be kicked out. that will cost a lot of the incumbents their seats this year. host: a comment on twitter from big gun. again, a comment from twitter. let's go back to tampa, florida. this time, on the line for independents, john is in tampa, florida. good morning. caller: good morning. please give me a few minutes like our gal from kentucky. host: i do not know if we have a few minutes. go ahead. caller: i am an independent. i'm a veteran. i have an mba in international business. i've been doing consulting small
businesses and mentoring people who want to start businesses. i look back of the great people who have served this country and have worked for what they want. now we have a lot of people that just want handouts from obama. again, i am an independent. i thank god every day the republicans got in there and stop the obama, even with the democratic senate, house, and obama in the white house, it took them one year to pass obamacare. host: is there a republican you like in the race right now? caller: as an independent, when people ask me who i will vote for, basically, i will vote for any gop. my vote is to make sure we get obama out of there. it's a difference between socialist and a free society. host: that was john from tampa, florida. a comment on twitter here. this refers back to one of our earlier callers.
back to the c-span 2012 bus. ashley is a student at the university of tampa. good morning. caller: good morning. how were you doing, reid? guest: doing fine. how are you? caller: i am doing well. thank you. mitt romney [inaudible] support of hispanics. i think the major concern is how he will receive support of young adults. in 2008, obama was able to do this. in the state of the union address, he talked about giving $55 million in grants. what is mitt romney's response and what will this strategy have to be to compete with president obama? host: reid wilson, a question about overall strategy there. guest: one of the interesting
things about the florida primary specifically, the electorate at large, the population that's over 65 is about 15% or 17%. in the republican primary, that percentage will be almost 1/3. it was 1/3 in 2008. the electorate is largely older. they will not play as big a role in today's primary as older voters will. moving forward, republicans need to reach out to these younger voters and capture these feeble who already voted for obama once. the under an american is, the more likely they were in 2008 to vote for president obama. it is going to be a big challenge for republicans to find a way to communicate with this new, younger generation. there will be no shortage of outrage -- of our reach.
republicans realize they have this opportunity to reach out to a new generation. they just haven't figured out a way to do it it. with president obama on the ballot, i think democrats are likely to keep their advantage among the younger voters. and the long run, republicans need to find a way to communicate with those voters. host: about five or 10 minutes left with reid wilson, "hotline" editor in chief. let's go to pleasant grove, utah. peter on the line for republicans. good morning. caller: good morning. i am a senior citizen and i'm concerned with the payroll tax cut last year. 2% was diverted from the social security funds. 2% on the employee side and 2% on the employer side. they diverted $166 billion from
social security and ran at $65 million in the red. host: that will be a major issue in 2012? caller: yeah, i think that should be a concern. we need to know what candidates, if they want to say the social security fund -- the congressman and senators -- half of the funds going into the social security fund will be diverted. host: reid wilson, talking a little bit about social security as a campaign issue coming up. guest: both sides are going to try to use social security as a cudgel to beat the other side with. congressman paul ryan's budget has given them an opportunity to say republicans want to change all entitlement programs fundamentally and take away your rights. there's a lot of scare language on that side. on the other side, some
republicans are saying the system really is broken and we have to figure out a way to fix social security and medicare going forward. otherwise, it's not going to be there. that is the warning about another incumbent -- you know, it in coming financial tsunami of red ink. both sides will talk about these entitlement programs a lot. democrats will warned that republicans want to fundamentally change the system. republicans will want to warn the democrats are not doing anything to actually find the system and that the system is broken. i think we will see a lot of hyperbole on both sides on this one. host: back in tampa, florida is joshua, a student at the university of tampa. caller: hi. cowrie doing today? -- how are you doing today? although ron paul does not have as much money as mitt romney and newt gingrich, is it safe to say that his lack of financial fortitude automatically excludes
them from any chance of significant success in this race? guest: not at all. if you take a look at the reports that will be filed today with the federal election commission, you might find that ron paul has significantly more money than newt gingrich does. if there's one thing ron paul knows how to do, it's raised a lot of money. he sort of pioneer to the idea of the money bomb and has been very successful at doing that. newt gingrich struggled with money in the early parts of his campaign. host: reid wilson, where does rick santorum fit in? does he still have a path to victory moving forward. guest: i hate to say it, but i think rick santorum days are numbered on the campaign trail fit as i mentioned earlier, he is in missouri -- he was there yesterday. their primary next week does not actually allocate any delegates. it's sort of like competing in a contest that doesn't matter. none of the other candidates are campaigning here.
it's curious that he decided to move there. at this moment, the big problem for all the not-romney candidates in february is they are living hand to mouth right now. absent a big win and a big influx of money, they will essentially have to survive a month of losses without taking in the kind of money that they will need to be on the air in the super tuesday states, for example. mitt romney has got that advantage. by the way, ron paul does, too. we've already seen ron paul advertising in places like colorado and thinking ahead. santorum and gingrich have not been present in those states. they've been focusing on the crisis at the moment, which is what every election is happening next, and then swinging wildly to the next eight. host: an article from foxnews.com. "will the geography of the primary zinc newt gingrich --
primary sink newt gingrich in february?" host: we were talking about misery a second ago. let's go to -- we were talking about missouri a second ago. let's go to rex. caller: you talk about ron paul skipping florida. as a ron paul supporter, i agree with the winner take all. because they change the primary dates, they lost something like 30 delegates. guest: they lost 50 delegates. caller: ok, 50. the only thing i want to take issue with -- i do not buy into the concept that the media ignores ron paul because he is not in florida. it has been ignored since free much a one.
although we can talk about the candidate, what is really being translated, the supporters like myself who are marginalized by the media and the republican party. i can tell you i have worked pretty hard in this area and organized for ron paul. most of the supporters agree on this. this is our message. people like romney -- we are not switching over. we are not going to vote gop for the lesser of two evils. that is what has caused all the problems. it's either obama and paul or nothing. at this point, the administration that we have is basically bullissh part two. host: reid wilson, i want to get one more students in from the university of tampa bus. caller: good morning. in this primary, we've seen an unprecedented escalation in
negative campaigning. how do you think this mudslinging will affect voter turnout among the younger population? host: reid wilson, in about the one minute we have left. guest: i do not think this is an unprecedented level of negative campaigning at all. this is the same sort of campaigning that we see nonstop. the last three cycles in a row, 2006, 2008, 2010 -- americans are used to voting against the guy in charge. another advertising works. what is different this year is the order of magnitude from different groups. a few years ago it was 501-c3's and now it is superpacs. this is not going away. this is not a trend that's going to slack off anytime soon. in fact, i think money will play a bigger role in politics. to say that there's more negative campaigning than ever before is not entirely accurate. this is just more negative campaigning that we are paying
attention to. host: reid wilson, will have to end its there. thank you for joining us. guest: thank you a lot host:. next, a discussion about the future of space policy. first, a news update. >> after months of violence in syria, the united nations security council meets today to discuss a resolution that calls on president assad's regime to immediately put it into all human rights violations and attacks on protesters. the document also calls for president assad to hand power to his deputy and insist there will be no use of foreign forces in the country. russia's deputy foreign minister wrote on twitter that "pushing this resolution is a path to civil war. " russia has been one of the strongest backers of president assad. the united nations estimates that more than 5400 people have
been killed in the syrian government crackdown. the security council meets today at 3:00 p.m. eastern time. c-span radio will have coverage of any remarks. turning to presidential politics once again. republican presidential candidate rick santorum speaking earlier on fox news channel says newt gingrich should not be urging him to drop out of the primaries. the former pennsylvania senator responded to remarks made by newt gingrich when he suggested that other conservatives need to coalesce around him to keep mitt romney from winning the party nomination. the polls are open now in florida. you can hear live coverage of the republican primary results and candidate speeches tonight at 8:00 p.m. tonight on c-span radio and c-span2. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> with talk of possible legislation to improve the nation's cyber defenses, the former cia director discusses dealing with national awareness of cyber threats from an aspen
homeland security event. >> i have an alarming thought about all this. in some ways, the discussion about cyber mirrors of the discussion we used to have about terrorism in the 1980's and 1990's. there was a great deal of difficulty coming to a national consensus about what to do about it until we had 9/11, which crystallized everything. we knew what we needed to do and the nation moved forward. we have not had that kind of event in cyber yet. the attack on zappos and the attack where i lost my credit card, the only good thing that comes out of this -- if you more of those and i think there will be growing public awareness that this is a serious vulnerability. i think it will then overcome some of the private sector reservations about working with the government on this. >> watch the rest of the discussion and more about zero with security online at the c- span video library -- about the
homeland security online at c- span video library. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we are joined now by stewart powell, "houston chronicle" washington correspondent. a discussion about the u.s. space program, especially in light of former speaker new hampshire voters gingrich's comments about wanting to put a colony on the moon. you talk about how it's not necessarily a destination, but to develop technologies and a better understanding of the earth. in light of speaker gingrich's comments, are there people out there who want to go to a destination? do you see a strong desire? guest: it makes a big
difference. i think we're past the era where the moon will be a destination realistically, because we cannot afford it. the obama administration is encouraging commercial firms to take a step forward and to deliver astronauts and crew to the space station and leave nasa time and money to develop the space technologies that will be useful, you know, in the 2020's and 2030's. host: we want to get your thoughts on the future of the space program or on speaker gingrich's comments last week. if you want to give us a call on the democratic line, it's -- stewart powell, tell us about your experience in covering the space program over the past several decades. guest: i have been involved in journalism for 40 years and more
recently, i've been working for a the "houston chronicle"which has a keen interest in space, which as been the home of mission control. as you remember, when apollo 13 had trouble, it was "houston, we have a problem." host: with your years of experience, let's listen in to what speaker gingrich said last wednesday in florida at a town hall on space policy about his vision for nasa. [video clip] >> we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be american. [applause] we will have commercial near earth activities that include science, tourism, and manufacturing, and are designed to create a robust industry precisely on the model of the development of the airlines in the 1930's, because it is in our
interest to acquire so much experience in space that we clearly have a capacity that the chinese and the russians will never come anywhere close to matching. [applause] and by the end of 2020, we will have the first continuous propulsion system in space capable of getting to mars in a remarkably short time, because i'm sick of being told we have to be timid and i'm sick of being told we have to be limited to technologies that are 50 years old. [applause] candidly, if we truly inspire the spirits of america, we may get some of this stuff a lot faster. host: stewart powell, speaker gingrich took some heat politically. in "the washington post" --
the sharkmped a shar moment." your take on how those statements were taken by folks in the space industry and in nasa? guest: in florida, the space coast employees that have been laid off are in a constituency looking for a voice. i think gingrich is trying to appeal to them. romney, the rest of the republicans, and obama pretty much agree on the future of space. i think he is reaching out to that constituency. i think a lot of experts looked at what he said and said this was an unrealistic.
daddy is taking away the credit card and we cannot really go back to the moon. especially on the scale he is talking about. he's talking about in the eventual bid by the moon colony to become a state. the cannot afford that. technologically, immense challenges. we cannot afford it financially. host: some, some twitter about speaker gingrich's comments. a poll on this issue, the question to florida republican primary voters, would you support or oppose establishing a colony on the moon? only 21% said they would support it. 53% say they would oppose it. 26% say they are not sure. do you think those numbers would
be higher, i guess, and other places in the country besides florida? is florida the one place where you would expect it to be the highest? guest: i would expect it to be highest in florida. a lot of the spacecraft economy has been dependent on the space program. kennedy space program is the centerpiece of the nasa program since the 1960's. the challenge in florida, if you are an aerospace engineer, you are very well paid. you have been at this a long time and you have been laid off. this is a tourist destination. you're going from aerospace engineer to flipping hamburgers. there's not really an alternative aerospace industry that is there. for those voters, this is make or break. host: a question for you that has come up since the moon colony statements -- the idea of -- why do we need to continue to have man too deep space exploration? we have so many machines these days sending out probes to different parts of the galaxy.
what's the importance of having a human being doing that exploration? guest: that's a good point and i think there's a constant debate in congress and in nasa about when it should be robotic and when it should be manned. a lot of what is driving the choice now is the budget. we're sending a probe to mars. we're sending gravity detection orbiters to the moon. we are doing a lot of research in space that does not involve man or women. the main place that men and women are being used right now is on the space station, which has a capacity for six people at one time. they are doing a lot of scientific exploration. guest: was the mission? guest: essentially, an orbiting laboratory for a zero gravity development of medicines and technologies and so forth. it is the only place you can do that in zero gravity. you know, there's been a lot of benefits of the space station. it's a $100 million u.s.-led
project. it has involved countries from around the world. it is sort of the only place right now that we can go to test technologies and practices that we could use potentially down the road on deep space missions, either to an asteroid by 2025, or to the moon or mars by 2035. host: is the space station the biggest ticket item on nasa's budget these days now that the shuttle program has ended? guest: i do not know in terms of expense. now we're at the maintenance level of the space station, rather than building it. the shuttle program and building the space station were sort of one in the same. that was a huge expense. now we are in the business of sustaining it. the goal is to sustain it until 2020, again, relying on commercial spacecraft to deliver cargo and to deliver astronauts. it will be less expensive to
maintain and operate than it was to build it. host: we have a graphic here of nasa's fiscal 2012 request. the overall request was $19 billion. we are currently in the budgeting times right now. what do we know about the 2013 request? guest: they will be lucky to get a flat line budget in this climate. remember, the super committee was supposed to exact some cuts from the budget but would have affected nasa, as well. their failure to do that means agencies like nasa will take a hard hit to get that number in automatic cuts. i think we will be lucky to get a flat line budget. there will be programs within nasa that will do better than the flat land. there will be programs that will do worse. as i say, on capitol hill, in
this budget climate, the space agency will be very, very lucky to get a flat line. host: on twitter -- let's open the phones with albert' on the democratic line. do you have a question or comment for stewart powell? caller: obama's idea of new technology driving america -- the people of america can drive our technologies to where we are doing new things and better things, instead of the republicans gridlock in the idea that the schools and the money are making it impossible for us to get into schools so we can develop newer technology, so that we can't go to the moon and to newer things and better things. america is great. the people need to get together. obama is doing the right thing. everybody has got to quit being so harsh on him. g
host: is there some thought out there that the nasa program can only be funded in times of plenty these days, when people are concerned about doing away with the shuttle and all the cuts to the program? what do you think? guest: nasa has enjoyed bipartisan congressional support from the beginning. i think it can continue to share bipartisan support and gain resources and support on capitol hill, but the days of the big- ticket programs, whether it be the shuttle program or the apollo program and the precursors to landing on the moon -- frankly, i think those days are over. obama is stretching the opportunity to reach asteroid's until 2025. that is two or three presidents from now. stretching orbiting mars to 2035, that's five or six presidents from now. host: none of these big moments anytime soon -- watching the moon landing or anything like
that. guest: those days are over. going to the moon started as a space race with the russian. it was not above exploiting the moon. that became the rational. in reality, and the political drive for the money and support was national security and the space race with the russians. we do not have that anymore. we are not raising anybody to the moon anymore. host: what year did the last man walk on the moon? guest: 1972. eugene sternum was the last man. he recently endorsed mitt romney. host: we have an article about that from "the telegraph." vetted him as the only contender capable of fixing the this array briefed on nasa by president
obama. let's go back to the phone lines. dave on the republican line. caller: newt is a very educated guy who was more or less speculating. he was not entirely serious about a colony on the moon. he said so himself. only the cynical minded ones want to bring it up and make a mountain out of a molehill about that comment -- is to laugh at. host: you do not think it was a serious statement by him? caller: it was a dream in the far future. he wants america to start becoming educated again. you know, in china, those kids in the eighth grade level are ready for countless. our kids are still in arithmetic in america. in america, are high school students are just pre-calculus
students. host: stewart powell, did you take it as more of a dream or a campaign plan? caller: i took it as an ambitious goal. i've talked to folks in florida who follow politics. they say the problem with what he said is that it made the space program look lavish and and grounded and sort of disconnected -- and ungrounded and sort of disconnected. people might want to go back to the moon and establish a colony of this scale. it might be a dream that people have, but it's really in a different era. we do not have the money and we have lost that national security component to the space program that made our country and our congress willing to ante up that kind of money. host: we are talking with stewart powell, "houston chronicle" washington correspondent. you talked about the gridlock on the hill.
who are the big supporters of nasa on the hill? are the people on capitol hill pushing the same sort of dream that newt gingrich has of putting a moon base up? guest: there have been in the past, but i think everyone has settled down and taking a look at the credit-card bill. bill nelson has been an advocate for the space program in florida. he's a senator from floridahe. one in 1986. he has been a powerful advocate for nasa. if you look around country, states that have nasa facilities, including texas, have senators and members of congress that are very supportive. kay bailey hutchison in texas, a member of the senate appropriations committee, has played a key role in funneling programs and resources to the johnson space center and to the houston area, as has nelson in florida.
host: also a reason why we see the nasa program broken up in a lot of different parts of our country. guest: exactly. there's a facility in alabama. there are facilities in california and utah. there are contractors all over the country. it is a nationally supported program. once again, i think people realize, and contractors realize, and nasa leadership realizes, there are limitations to what they can achieve in this climate. host: back to the phones. paul is an independent from arkansas. good morning. caller: i do not agree with newt on much of anything, but yes, we need to go to the moon we can use helium for nuclear fusion. we can use that to get off our been dependent on these terrorist countries for oil. guess what? we can also put a laser cannon up there to defer any asteroids
or comets. host: that was paul from greenwood, arkansas. talk about some of the new technologies that he may have been talking about or some of the other new technologies that are being discussed for the future of nasa. guest: i think the biggest goal that nasa has is to come up with a new propulsion system that can get astronauts to the moon and back -- to mars and back host:. the space launch. . guest: right. one of the plans is to have orbiting fuel that can resupply the spacecraft. the big challenge is getting the equipment and fuel and so on into orbit and escaping what they call the gravity well. if they can get that stuff into orbit, it gives them a chance to go deeper, further, quicker. that is part of the focus of the high for propulsion systems that may or may not develop. i think that's one of the
cutting edge issues for nasa. host: when you say cutting edge, how far away are we from any of those being developed? guest: a long way. the follow-on to the shuttle program will be test flown in 2017 without astronauts and hopefully test flown with astronauts in 2021. this would be the space craft that would be able to both reached the space station -- host: that's not going to any destination guest:. it is being designed to reach an asteroid by 2025 and be the basis for the mars program in 2035. you know, that's just to get men and women back into orbit and beyond orbit. host: how likely do you think it is that we will be able to keep towards that goal? we've seen the goals of the space program change between the bush administration and the obama administration. can we plan that far out? guest: we are answering the
appetite now for a goal and a program and a robust program that reflects the nation's pioneering spirit. we're trying to achieve that and maintain that at a time when we cannot afford to pay for it. we are stretching it. i think we will continue to see goals described, whether it be by newt gingrich, mitt romney, or barack obama, goals described, but the path to reaching those goals will be stretched because of money. host: a question from joseph on twitter -- guest: i think there are national security restrictions that impede open cooperation with china. china is the next nation as likely to get somebody on the moon and so forth. they are planning missions this year to link up astronauts with their module, which is their
equivalent of a space station. they are moving on manned space operations. everybody says they are probably going to be astronaut-speaking chinese on the moon in the next decade or so. host: what do you think the political reaction will be here in d.c. if the chinese for the next man or woman on the moon? guest: the reaction for my generation of folks who came up with the moon program and saw the moon landing and saw it in the context of national security and protecting the country and so forth, i think they will be alarmed. you know, the general population, younger generations who did not grow up with this -- i think it will look at this in a more realistic fashion. international cooperation is kind of the only way we will get to mars. there may be -- anybody who wants to ante in gets to be part of the team. i think there will be less backlash to the chinese
involvement. host: back to the phones. sam is a democrat from rome, georgia. good morning. are you there, sam? we will go to twitter. victor says -- can you talk a little bit about the history or the development about our plan for space? guest: sure. president bush decided during his term to end the shuttle program in 2011. after the columbia accident, he decided to generate a new space vehicle called the consolation that was designed to reach the moon by 2020. we were going down that road, to return to the moon by 2020 with the constellation.
when president obama took office, he had a team of veteran space experts take a look at -- could we afford this program that president bush outlined? they came up with the conclusion that we cannot afford it. they change the program. they changed the direction. that's the result of where obama arrived with his modified space proposal. it's different from what in florida he in in 2008. it is less ambitious and made major changes. his critics could accuse him of reneging on a campaign promise. the reality is, when obama took office in 2008 and 2009, we were in the free flow of economic situation. there just was not the political or financial support for the kind of program our country had been used to for 40 years. host: william is a republican
from washington. good morning. caller: good morning. i would like to point out that the scientists under the previous nasa administrator, as well as testimony before congress -- 99.9% oppose human activity in space and cost effective, the most bang for the buck, robotic science missions, as america racist to the bottom in free trade, there's no -- as america races to the bottom line in free trade, there's no money. 99% oppose the cuban mission in space -- oppose the human mission in space. host: stewart powell? from: we've learned a lot
robotic missions. the probe that's going to mars now and the vehicle that's on mars now is in its fifth year of operation. it's kind of incredible, if you see the pictures and video coming back from this. i think the ability to a scientifically analyzed whether there's water on the moon or water on mars is crucial scientific information. i think we're able to achieve a lot with the robotic exploration. the problem politically is that it's not nearly as exciting and it does not galvanize political support quite the same way that a manned space flight does. host: on cnn yesterday, a column about this. i want to read a little bit from that, talking about manned space exploration. he writes --
"not a very compelling answer to the question, what do i get for my $100 billion?" "it is not a vision of the future. " let's go back to the phones in florida. charles is on the independent line. caller: yes, i would like to make a few points. in 2009, we've got almost $1 trillion from the chinese. that same year, we gave the
u.n. $600 million. the chinese gave $60 million. the point being that the chinese are frugal with their money where we are wasteful. the un despises us. the chinese will surpass us with their military as well as their space program, because they know what they're doing with their money. thank you. host: charles from venice, florida. can you give us more insight as to the chinese program and comparisons to the u.s.? guest: as i said, it expects to send astronauts to link up with their equivalent of the space station. they are doing preparations to go to the moon and to land astronauts on the moon at some point. as i said, that's going to be an incredible moment, both an awakening in terms of the moon is now accessible to other countries, but also in terms of the changed international climate where nations that may
not be our allies are also able to reach the moon and generate these wow-moments in space history. host: what about the status of commercial low orbit space flights, the private sector getting involved? talking a little bit about that and also if the chinese have a similar type of program going on in their private sector? guest: the united states space ex was planning to fly a rocket and space craft to the space station. they slipped the date until march. it may continue to slip. that would be the first commercial visit to the space station by a u.s. private firm. in an effort to replace the deliveries of the shuttle. that would be a big step. it would be a cargo flight, not a man flight. eventually, they hope to have a manned flight on board a commercial spacecraft. host: what are the firm's?
leading that? guest: spacex is one. host: virgin galactic? guest: i think that's more tourism. orbital and spacex are the big ones. the big challenge will be convincing nasa and congress that these flights are safe enough and proven enough that you can put u.s. astronauts on board. we all went through the challenger and the columbia and the loss of the three astronauts on the flight pad in cape kennedy in 1967. we've lost 17 astronauts and the space program. i think people are very keenly aware that would be a huge setback to rush forward with a man space rated private commercial aircraft and have a
problem. host: clifford is on our republican from minnesota. good morning. caller: good morning. i think we should tell newt to put some rockets along the equator and maybe rotate that thing for one r.p.m. per day and make it real comfortable for our colonies. what do you think about that idea? host: clifford from minnesota. you were talking about the idea before of space tourism. can you give us an update on where we are and where we can buy a ticket to go into space? guest: it's interesting. the russians have private citizens aboard their spacecraft to the space station for some time. i think it's $20 million per seat. it has been a revenue-raiser for them. there have been some tycoon's taking advantage of that and going up there. we have not done that. the closest we have done is to have non-the astronauts on
board, including the teacher in non--- have been thing the astronauts on board, including the teacher in 1986. there are companies trying to compete and get into the space tourism business. the one you mentioned is the one of them. host: a question from bill on twitter. guest: that is a really good question and i do not know the answer to that. host: let's go back to the phones. john is a democrat from harrisburg, pa.. good morning. caller: how? are you? my big question -- i know they've been trying to go up to space for a long time. i know you've got a lot of things from [inaudible] up there. you know, the ocean is really big. right now, the price of a bottle
of water is enough money to where there's a lot of water in the ocean. why don't you try to take advantage of what we have here on earth so we can make things easier and use that type of money and take that ocean water and make it drinkable? host: stewart powell? guest: you are right. there has been a lot of focus on space because of the national security program, rather than ocean exploration. i think that's a good point. there may be more commercial opportunities at sea then we have looked at. host: in terms of exploration, is there a push between one gets funded or another? guest: we have the national oceanographic agency that is focused on the ocean. the nooa budget is nowhere near
the nasa budget. the bipartisan congressional support for noaa is a given. again, nasa has this extra dimension of national pride and national security role that i think is an important component to why it is supported. host: it is not like noaa -- i believe the estimate was $450 billion per shuttle mission. it's not like noaa has seen an uptick with the end of the show -- with the end of the shuttle program? guest: no, there's a constituency still there. it is being squeezed. it's hard to get people in non- nasa states to support nasa spending, especially when they're trying to get jobs in their state. there's a besieged constituency on capitol hill that continues
to support nasa. host: anne is a republican from tennessee. caller: are you saying obama allied in 2008 to the space community? what a shocker. i remember him saying he wanted to turn us into our reach to the muslim community. i have a very bright grandson. he wants to be a space engineer. i have told him obama is canceling the program and he needs to look elsewhere. i've also told him that i will sell a kidney before i let him take a loan from this government that is out to destroy our young people. those kids at the university of florida -- you know, i know there frontal lobes are not developed yet, but they need to look at all the promises obama made to them in the last election in 2008 and see of their lives are any better. there's an old saying. fool me once, shame on you. fool me twice, shame on me. host: now that speaker gingrich brought up the space program and
a possible moon mission, do you see that extending into the presidential debate past florida today? guest: that's a really good question. we've seen the floor debate sort of enflamed by what gingrich said and the reaction by the other candidates. romney, santorum, and paul essentially said we cannot afford it and it is fantasy, almost to the point that it is irresponsible. gingrich got slapped back pretty hard by his rivals. i do think that in the fall we will see the space policy debate resumed. i think it will be essentially on the argument of -- how long are we going to rely on the russians to deliver our astronauts and our car go to our space station? right now, if we want to get astronauts and cargo to our space station that we built for $100 billion, there's going to be a political source of debate over our reliance on the
russians, i think, to get there. i think that will resume once the republican field is settled and once candidates the once, the republican and democrats are sorting out their battleground. host: you say there is resentment? guest: yes, i think there's a lot of concern on capitol hill, especially among the republicans, that we are relying on the russians to the extent that we are. i think it is $50 million proceed to get an astronaut to the space station. host: that we have to pay the russian government. guest: we signed a long-term contract with them to fill in the gap between the end of the shuttle program and the earliest that we will probably seek commercial spacecraft delivering astronauts to the space station will probably be 2015, 2016. i think there will be a political debate over why we are relying on the russians.
the reality is, they're able to get there at this point and we are not. we made the choice collectively. we made the choice gradually to and the shuttle program. there was more and more concerned about safety. we made the collective e decision thend -- the collective decision to end the shuttle program. we made the decision to extend the life of the space station to 2020. now we're living with that decision. host: a comment on footer -- on twitter -- back to the phones. gillette is an independent from connecticut -- sheila is an independent from connecticut. good morning. caller: i would like you to tell me how blasting off into space does not contribute to climate change.
look at all the nasty weather we're having. hot, cold, hot, cold. this was not have been before the space program went into effect with president kennedy. instead of spending this money on space exploration, let's have a race with other countries as to who can come up with tears to cancer, diabetes, and all the other diseases -- with cures to cancer, diabetes, and all the other diseases. i say abolish the space program altogether. do not waste any more money. like to see how you feel about it. thank you. guest: i think that's a really good point. it's always a trade-off whether we spend money for the future and technology and so on and spend money on current diseases and to combat current diseases. i go back to the point i made earlier, which is, unfortunately, fighting disease is not a national security imperative. it does not galvanize the broad, extended, political or financial support that the pentagon
generates or that nasa generates. i think as long as nasa is viewed as a component of our national security and an ingredient in protecting the country, i think it will always get better support than perhaps disease treatment. host: one more call with stewart powell, "houston chronicle" washington correspondent, talking about the space programm. imike is afrom florida up. caller: regarding the helium 3. i read that one load witwould pr our nation for a year. did you do not hear much about that. my other comment is regarding the lack of oversight regarding the environmental issues. i read an article after the space shuttle was shut down that there is such toxic
pollution on cape canaveral that it will take more than 100 years to clean up. i'm wondering why there has not been more oversight, clean up as you go, than just dumping stuff out. i read a lot about lack of oversight. if you could comment on that regarding the epa and clean up. host: stewart powell. guest: nasa devotes some of its budget to cleaning up and dealing with regulatory compliance. that's a small part of what the. agency. i do not detect a lot of concern on capitol hill in congress over cleanup and environmental impacts from the space program. i think there are some people were focused on it. i do not get a sense that it's a widespread issue. host: we were talking about the end of the shuttle program. what happened to